Flora and Fauna of Great Britain. National resources. Environment
With its mild climate and varied soils, the United Kingdom has a diverse pattern of natural vegetation. Originally, oak forests probably covered the lowland, except for the fens and marsh areas, while pine forests and patches of moorland covered the higher or sandy ground. Over the centuries, much of the forest area, especially on the lowlands, was cleared for cultivation. Today only about 9% of the total surface is wooded. Fairly extensive forests remain in east and north Scotland and in southeast England. Oak, elm, ash, and beech are the most common trees in England. Pine and birch are most common in Scotland. Almost all the lowland outside the industrial centers is farmland, with a varied seminatural vegetation of grasses and flowering plants. Wild vegetation consists of the natural flora of woods, fens and marshes, cliffs, chalk downs, and mountain slopes, the most widespread being the heather, grasses, gorse, and bracken of the moorlands.
The fauna is similar to that of northwestern continental Europe, although there are fewer species. Some of the larger mammals—wolf, bear, boar, and reindeer—are extinct, but red and roe deer are protected for sport. Common smaller mammals are foxes, hares, hedgehogs, rabbits, weasels, stoats, shrews, rats, and mice; otters are found in many rivers, and seals frequently appear along the coast. There are few reptiles and amphibians. Roughly 230 species of birds reside in the United Kingdom, and another 200 are migratory. Most numerous are the chaffinch, blackbird, sparrow, and starling. The number of large birds is declining, however, except for game birds—pheasant, partridge, and red grouse—which are protected. With the reclamation of the marshlands, waterfowl are moving to the many bird sanctuaries. The rivers and lakes abound in salmon, trout, perch, pike, roach, dace, and grayling. There are more than 21,000 species of insects.
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is highly developed and technollogically advanced capitalist country. It is an old naval and industrial power. It is a member of the European Economic Community and together with its former colonies and dominions forms the Commonwealth.
Great Britain has a lot of industrial cities, such us London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Bristol and others.
Britain is a great producer of coal and steel. It builds ships and manufactures machinery, chemicals and textiles. The industries are concentrated mainly in the central part of the country and in the south. This is the so-called “ Black country “, almost completely covered with factories and mines. Here coal is mined , and nearby there is iron ore, salt and clay.
Coal is richest natural resource of Great Britain and the most important source of energy in the country. The largest coal fields are located in South Wales, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire . The coal fields are arranged in three groups: the southern, midland and the northern. The south: basin includes the South Wales, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and some smaller fields, and the nothern basin includes the fields of Nothumberland, Cumberla, and Scotland.
Great Britain is known for it’s High-quality steel, metalware and machinery. Iron ore is the most important of minerals mined in the country. The great bulk of iron ore is produced in England. The richest ores come from Cumberland, Lancashire and Staffordshire.
There are smaller deposits of tin, copper, lead, sink, chalk and clay in the country. Britain produces significant amounts of gypsum, limestone and dolomite. Small amounts of silver and gold are found in Wales. Still Grate Britain is not very rich in mineral resources and it’s economy relies now chiefly on import.